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Have Caps found their third-string goaltender?

Have Caps found their third-string goaltender?

The Capitals apparently have found their No. 3 goaltender and his name is Joe Cannata.

In a relatively quiet day for the Presidents’ Trophy winners, the Caps signed former first-round draft pick Brett Connolly to a one-year, one-way, $800,000 contract, then filled out their organizational depth by signing Cannata, defenseman Darren Dietz and forward Christian Thomas to one-year, two-way deals.

Cannata, 26, is expected to challenge for the No. 1 job with the AHL Hershey Bears next season and be the Caps’ emergency goalie if Braden Holtby or Philipp Grubauer gets injured.

Cannata has 88 games of AHL experience but has yet to play in a regular-season NHL game.

A 6-foot-1, 200-pounder from Wakefield, Mass., Cannata played for the Utica Comets of the AHL last season, posting a 20-13-6 record with two shutouts, a 2.52 GAA and a .909 save percentage in 40 games.

In 88 games with Utica and Chicago of the AHL, Cannata has posted a 41-33-6 record with two shutouts, a 2.59 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage.

Cannata also went 15-10-2 record with one shutout, 2.34 goals-against average and .921 save percentage in 28 career ECHL games with Ontario and Kalamazoo.

Cannata spent four seasons (2008-12) at Merrimack College (NCAA), posting a 59-46-16 record with seven shutouts, a 2.47 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage in 122 games. He holds the school record in wins, games played, goals-against average, save percentage and saves (3,152).

Dietz, 22, registered five points (one goal, four assists) and 13 penalty minutes in 13 games with the Montreal Canadiens last season.

The 6-foot-1, 201-pound defenseman was drafted by Montreal in the fifth round (138th overall) in the 2011 NHL fraft. Dietz earned 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) and 61 penalty minutes in 61 games with the St. John’s IceCaps in 2015-16.

Thomas, 24, registered two assists in six games with the Arizona Coyotes and Montreal Canadiens in 2015-16. He has earned three points (one goal, two assists) in 27 career NHL games with the Rangers, Montreal and Arizona. Thomas was drafted by the Rangers in the second round, 40th overall, in the 2010 NHL draft.

The Toronto native recorded 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) in 34 AHL games with Springfield and St. John’s last season and has 107 points (52 goals, 55 assists) in 219 career AHL games with Connecticut, Hamilton, St. John’s and Springfield. 

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2018 Olympic Hockey Results: Czech Republic eliminate U.S. men in shootout winner

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USA Today Sports

2018 Olympic Hockey Results: Czech Republic eliminate U.S. men in shootout winner

GANGNEUNG, South Korea -- Pavel Francouz stopped all five shooters and Petr Kouka scored the shootout winner as the Czech Republic eliminated the United States with a 3-2 victory in the quarterfinals Wednesday.

Jan Kovar and Tomas Kundratek scored in regulation for the Czech Republic, which was fresher after winning its group and getting a bye into the quarterfinals. The U.S. looked fatigued after facing Slovakia in the qualification round and was outshot 29-20.

Ryan Donato and Jim Slater scored for the U.S, which again was led by its youngest players, including speedster Troy Terry. U.S. goaltender Ryan Zapolski allowed three goals on 29 shots and one in the shotoout, while Francouz stopped 18 in regulation and overtime.

Koukal was the only player to score in overtime. Chris Bourque, Ryan Donato, Marc Arcobello, Terry and Bobby Butler couldn't beat Francouz.

RELATED: OVECHKIN HAS LITTLE DESIRE TO WATCH 2018 WINTER OLYMPICS

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3 reasons why the Caps lost to the Lightning

3 reasons why the Caps lost to the Lightning

After a rough start, the Caps battled back to make a game of it against Tampa Bay, but ultimately fell 4-2 to the Lightning. Here's why.

The first period

To put it simply, this game was lost in the opening period. Washington was the better team for the second and third but they could not overcome the 3-0 lead they spotted the Lightning in the first. Beyond the goals, the Caps just did not play well. Even the simplest of plays looked difficult as Washington struggled to get the puck out of their own zone, gave up numerous turnovers and scoring chances and just looked overmatched. Braden Holtby also looked shaky allowing three goals on just eight shots. Usually he is able to cover up some of the mistakes the defense makes it front of him, but he was not there to bail the team out on Tuesday in what was a really rocky start.

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Taking a penalty 34 seconds into the game

Entering Tuesday’s game, Tampa Bay boasted the second best power play unit in the league. Playing a disciplined game is part of every game plan, but that is especially true against such a dominant unit. Giving up a penalty just 34 seconds into the game was not an ideal start. The call itself was debatable. Brett Connolly was called for interference when he knocked over Dan Girardi in the offensive zone. The puck was just behind Girardi as he had lost control of it in his skates. The sticking point here is that Girardi no longer had possession and Connolly could have played the puck instead of the player. Most referees would probably let that go with the puck so close, but Connolly was not so lucky. Whether it was a good call or not, the Caps found themselves down a man and down a goal soon after as Brayden Point scored the power play tally.

A missed opportunity from Kuznetsov on one end, a goal for Nikita Kucherov on the other

Even after spotting the Lightning a 3-0 lead, the Caps made a game of it. Lars Eller struck on the power play in the second period and Alex Ovechkin pulled Washington to within one with about nine minutes left to play. Just over a minute later, Evgeny Kuznetsov stole the puck away from Nikita Kucherov, the frontrunner for league MVP this season, at the Tampa blue line giving the Caps a short 2-on-1. Defenseman Andrej Sustr was textbook on the play forcing Kuznetsov as far wide as he could go while still covering the passing lane and Kuznetsov elected to shoot from the faceoff dot rather than attempt the pass to T.J. Oshie.Andrei Vasilevskiy made a routine blocker save to deny what looked like a great opportunity to tie the game. As always happens in hockey, a failed opportunity on one end led to an opportunity in the other direction. Less than a minute later, Kucherov made up for his mistake by scoring a breakaway goal to put the game out of reach at 4-2.

MORE CAPITALS: KEMPNY EXCITED TO MOVE FROM LAST PLACE CHICAGO TO FIRST PLACE WASHINGTON